Decibels Rising
Monday June 6, 2016

Decibels Rising

More and more people are finding a way to talk about their experiences with mental illness. It is nothing short of a historic shift, and it’s happening locally and globally. Speaking up also requires listening more carefully; otherwise, as the expression goes, the message will fall on deaf ears. Previously, our voice around mental health […]

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Friday May 27, 2016

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

As Americans don their swim suits and dust off their bbq’s this weekend, it is worth noting that May is Mental Health Awareness month. Perhaps not a coincidence that May also ends with Memorial Day, which is a time to honor those who have served our country – those same individuals who have very high […]

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#ProtectYourGirls
Friday May 20, 2016

#ProtectYourGirls

I generally have little patience for underwear masquerading as fashion. This past Sunday was another story. I saw bras decorated with pom poms, covered with neon paint, and layered with buttons, pipe cleaners and paper mache and wished they were being paraded down Fifth Avenue with great fanfare. These bras were the masterpieces of teen […]

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Patrick Roche, Spoken Word Poet
Friday May 13, 2016

Patrick Roche, Spoken Word Poet

This past week Columbia Psychiatry hosted its annual Gray Matters Luncheon. With the Plaza ballroom filled to capacity, Patrick Roche silenced the clanking of silverware and even halted the checking of cell phone texts and emails with his vivid and visceral poetry about mental illness. Click the links below to hear from this extraordinary artist […]

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This one’s for you, Mom!
Saturday May 7, 2016

This one’s for you, Mom!

Mothers: one way or another, we all have one. And the majority of women in the world will, one way or another, become one over the course of a lifetime. This Sunday is Mother’s Day in the US, and I count myself lucky to have a thriving 84-year old mother who has always been a […]

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Lessons From Prince and Other Royals
Friday April 29, 2016

Lessons From Prince and Other Royals

Lessons from Prince and other Royals Last week, Prince, the beloved pop icon, died from what appears to be a drug overdose while Princess Kate, Prince William and Prince Harry lent royal support to The Heads Together campaign – reminding us that even those who seem invincible can be affected by mental illness and those with a public platform […]

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Passover: An Allegory for Psychotherapy
Friday April 22, 2016

Passover: An Allegory for Psychotherapy

As the sun sets this evening, millions of Jewish people around the world will open the Passover Haggadah and recount the story of the exodus from Egypt – one of the most ancient, quintessential stories of the journey to freedom. It is a story filled with drama, contradictions, symbolic images, and profound teachings. I love this narrative […]

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Robben Island: Lepers, Lunatics, and Political Prisoners
Friday April 15, 2016

Robben Island: Lepers, Lunatics, and Political Prisoners

Robben Island is located in Table Bay 6.9 km from the vibrant port city of Cape Town, South Africa. Made famous by Nelson Mandela – student activist – political prisoner number 466 – South Africa’s first post-apartheid president – 1993 Nobel Peace prize recipient – it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is a “must-see” […]

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Indaba South Africa
Friday April 8, 2016

Indaba South Africa

Indaba is a Zulu word that means gathering for purposeful discussion; a gathering of spirits, a meeting of friends, a sharing of dreams. I was 17 years old when I landed in Johannesburg, South Africa as an American Field Scholar in 1977; I went to Roosevelt High School where we wore grey jumpers for school uniforms and I learned […]

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Kenya’s “Big Five”
Friday April 1, 2016

Kenya’s “Big Five”

Africa’s Big Five typically refers to the great African lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros and leopard. I’ve got a different sort of Big Five to share with you from my day of traveling dirt roads in Kenya with colleagues from the Africa Mental Health Foundation. Thanks to the vision of Drs. David Ndetei and Victoria Mutiso, mental […]

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